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Former Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Financial Advisor Jim Seol Barred by FINRA

Posted on Thursday, July 20th, 2017 at 8:36 am    

Erez Law is currently investigating former Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. financial advisor Jim Seol (CRD# 2876279) regarding outside business activities that generated $150 Million in private transactions. Seol was registered with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Irvine, California from 1997 to 2014. Previously, Seol was registered with IDS Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1997 to 2006.

In May 2016, Seol was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint that alleged that he formed an outside corporation, in which he acted as president and chief executive officer. The company marketed U.S. investments to international investors through the United States government’s EB-5 program that permits foreign investors to obtain a U.S. visa in exchange for investing in projects that create U.S. jobs. Through the company, Seol “solicited investments totaling $150 Million from foreign customers in a limited partnership also formed by him.” According to the complaint, Seol did not provide prior written notice to his employers about these outside business activities and engaging in private securities transaction, and he provided false testimonies in his annual compliance questionnaires.

Selling away occurs when a financial advisor sells an investment to a client without his brokerage firm’s permission, the broker is selling investments away from the firm, or simply “selling away.” A broker might partake in this inappropriate practice to earn a commission he or she would otherwise have to pass up. These investment opportunities are not properly vetted by the associated brokerage firm and therefore exposes the client to risk.

As of May 30, 2017, Seol was barred from association with any FINRA member and ordered to pay costs in the amount of $4,440.70.

Seol has been the subject of five customer complaints between 2003 and 2013, four of which were denied, according to his CRD report:

July 2004. “Claimant alleges that in 2001 she transferred all funds in excess of $1 million in six trusts to aefa. Claimant alleges aefa and its advisors recommended high risk mutual funds. Claimant alleges aefa sold her a life insurance policy she did not need. Claimant alleges damages in excess of $1.4 million plus unspecified punitive damages.” The client sought $1,400,000 in damages and the case was settled for $500,000.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Seol’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. financial advisor Jim Seol, who is alleged to engage in outside business activities that generated $150 Million in private transactions without prior notice to his member firm. If you were a client of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.